Tech Update - Processing and Directional Felling Heads


Waratah provides industry leading solutions through 20 individual models, offering the most extensive line-up of two, three and four-wheel-drive harvesting/processors, along with two directional felling-heads.

At the heart of Waratah’s program is the HTH 622B. Productive, reliable and trusted, the 622B has been an industry icon for 13 years, surpassing 2,500 units working globally.

Waratah’s new HTH 624C 4X4 at 3530 kg/ 7782 lbs is said to be perfectly suited for any 27 tonne and over machine. Loaded with easy maintenance features, this four-wheel-drive head is specifically designed to dominate large timber while boosting productivity through its on-demand multi-stemming features, says the company. Whether tethered on steep slopes, or if contractors are just looking for a heavy duty directional felling head, the FL-95 delivers a productivity boost through a steep slope-specific tilt angle, a massive 62” grapple opening and an innovative, industry-first, fully retractable saw box.


The Tigercat 5195 is a robust and versatile directional felling head for track carriers. The 5195 combined with the LS855D carrier is best suited for oversize timber and steep terrain and excels at felling, pre-bunching, shovel logging, stacking and sorting. It can also fell and pre-bunch in conjunction with a skidder and/or yarding system.

The head is equipped with a heavy-duty reinforced chassis and arms to maximize productivity in high duty-cycle applications. Dual cylinder arms maximize control and a continuous rotation, and a high capacity rotator provides superior positioning control when felling and shoveling. The head is easy to service, with quick bar and chain changes, and the custom in-cab head control settings can be optimized to suit the operator and application.


The Keto 873 processor, weighing in at 3360 kg (7400 lb) was launched earlier this year, and can be installed on 30 tonne and over tracked base machines. It is designed for processing larger trees in the demanding conditions of North America.

One of the most interesting new functions of the Keto 873 is the Rotobec rotator, which spins 360 degrees and beyond. Functions of the Parker valve system are proportional and operate only on demand, which are key factors in optimizing the fuel consumption of the base machine and running the system at the lowest possible temperature.

The 500cc Danfoss track feed motors produce nearly 4kN of the true net pulling power, making sure that even the toughest trees can be pulled and delimbed quickly and efficiently.

Like any Keto head, the length measuring is accomplished by the two feeding tracks.

A larger front knife cylinder, together with the bottom arm cylinder, provide the needed holding power when pulling big trees from the deck. The geometries of the three moving and one fixed knives and arms have been optimized to handle a full range of diameters.


The Ponsse H8HD and H10 are heavy-duty harvester heads for felling and processing of hardwood and softwood in tough conditions. Strong grip, powerful feeding, and fast sawing are packed in a robust and reliable package that can be fitted into various carriers. Wide roller geometry supports large stems with feed rollers instead of delimbing knives. This requires lower pressure on knives, improving fuel economy and feeding speed as well as measuring accuracy. Optimal tilt pivot geometry minimizes upwards torque of the head, giving smoother feeding and better grip of the tree.

The Ponsse Opti control system is designed specifically for Ponsse harvester heads. All adjustments and settings work perfectly together with the head, offering easy but versatile functions to seamlessly fit the base machine and work requirements, says the company. Ponsse systems offer mobile follow-up of production with either manual or automatic data transfer.

pierce pacificPierce Pacific

The Pierce grapple processor is a revolutionary work tool that offers loading utility and processing productivity in one tough machine, says the company. It’s the only one of its kind that shovels, sorts and loads like a grapple—and delimbs, measures and cuts like a processor.

Built to handle big timber up to 52” in diameter, it is ideal for picking up individual stems as well as handling multiple logs without criss-crossing. Other ground-breaking features on the Pierce GP include integral feed wheels that allow users to increase the distance of each shovel turn and thus reduce the number of turns to the landing. Plus, it offers a full scale measuring system that calculates log length and diameter, making it easy to process and merchandize logs with precise accuracy.

The GP’s innovative design makes it possible to also reposition long logs, handle bundles of short wood and distribute brush. It can be used with both new and pre-existing log loaders, making it economical as well as efficient.


Directional bar saw felling heads are part of a range of forestry attachments manufactured by Duxson. Well-proven in the tough New Zealand market, these heads bring new levels of performance and reliability to the market, says the company.

With rugged design and constructed entirely from high tensile steel, these heads are for the high volume professional operator who demands a long and dependable service life with lower overall operating costs.

Huge capacity, quick acting, powerful action and reliable long life are just a few features to improve throughput, whether the requirement is shoveling, felling or loading. While well-suited to oversize timber and steep terrain, the optimized jaw shape gives excellent multiple stem grip and massive holding power to reduce tree slip.

Both of Duxson’s models are fully hydraulically-controlled for simplicity and long term reliability. Maintenance areas have easy access to all features, and it comes with a super strong and simple ¾” saw bar assembly.


JdeSouza is a Brazilian forest attachments manufacturer with a presence in South America, Africa and it is now arriving in North America.

They are initially offering two directional feller models to North American loggers, the MJ 800 and MJ 1000.

The MJ 800 can cut trees up to 31”, and it is applicable for 18 tonne and up machines. It has a 45” saw bar and weighs 2977 lbs without rotator.

The larger MJ 1000 head can cut trees up to 39” and is applicable to machines over 25 tonne. It uses a 52” saw bar and weighs 3859 lbs without the rotator.

Both use a 60cc motor, ¾» pitch and to ensure robustness and durability, they are constructed in a combination of ASTM A-572 50 and USI AR 450 (hardness 450 HRB) steel.

The JdeSouza agent in the U.S. Americas is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Konrad ForesttechnikKonrad Foresttechnik

The new Konrad Forsttechnik GmbH Woody 61 head can handle stems up to 75 cm. Its four feeding rolls with spikes allow for fast and powerful feeding with less friction. Delimbing speed is 0 to 5 m/sec with a force of 30 to 40 kN. The Woody 61 delimbs stems from 4 to 65 cm in diameter. The grapple, serving also as delimbing knives, can open 120 cm for manipulating logs. The main saw has an automatic chain tensioner and has a top saw option. Length measuring is done with a measuring wheel and a rotating sensor, and diameter is taken by the grapple with integrated linear sensors in the grapple ram cylinders.

Konrad Forsttechnik GmbH woody harvesting heads are different from other heads on the market. All the Woody models have an integrated rotator and can rotate continuously. Therefore, there is no danger of damaging hydraulic hose pipes leading to the feed rollers.

SouthStar EquipmentSouthStar Equipment

SouthStar offers the QS450, QS500, QS600 and QS630 processors. Of the four, the QS630 is designed for the toughest harvesting environments, says the company, and for the largest sized stems with an optimum operating size of 24-32” in diameter. This heavy-duty processor has not compromised speed and is packed full of design features such as the 4X4 extra wide feed rollers for increased surface contact with the log, and large diameter wheels for increased speed.

The innovative parabolic spring drive arm timing link allows for variation in stem profile without loss of traction. And the wide chassis structure provides improved structural strength and increased single and multi-tree processing capacity. It features a clean hose through design with Taimi swivel or 360 degree rotation option to better protect hoses, and large diameter pins with taper lock collar design for decreased wear and increased life expectancy. 

Southstar also offers grapple processors—the QS505, QS605 and QS635—which are designed to sort, shovel and load like a grapple as well as process, measure and cut with all the advantages of a Southstar processor. They combine both loading and processing in one effective machine.

Axis forestryAxis Forestry

Axis Forestry Inc manufactures the Rebel processor/harvesting head. 

Designed by loggers, the Rebel features the patented, non-hydraulic, self-tensioning API saw, full 360 rotation, four-wheel, multi-stem feeding, and direct drive measuring. The well-thought-out features of the Rebel head provide loggers with a robust, long term valued piece of equipment, says Axis Forestry.

Powered by the Cypress Controls computer system, Axis provides the logger with a powerful suite of on-board diagnostics, self-teaching help guides, support connectivity, and easy to use, tablet-based functions that are simple to learn to make the newest of operators productive right away. Cypress also features wireless connections making this powerful control system one of the most technologically advanced products on the market. Axis has made the Cypress Controls system and the API saw available to other head manufactures for their own production lines.


The Komatsu 398 processing head is built for high performance, big timber processing, and is designed for installation on track carriers weighing 27 tonnes or more. Its rugged and robust design allows the head to handle timber up to 31” in diameter. The powerful “carry style” feed system features four motors and three driven rollers, which provide a firm three-point grip while reducing friction for high feed power. The rugged delimbing knives have programmable proportional pressure control and deliver fast and effective delimbing results.

Cutting is handled by a 31” capacity ¾” pitch bottom saw and an 18” capacity .404” pitch integral top saw. A patented measuring system with constant measuring wheel contact and a find-end photocell sensor system provide exceptional measuring accuracy, says the company. Komatsu’s advanced MaxiXplorer smart control system has easy-to-use features that include a large color screen to manage all aspects of head control and operating preferences.


AFM-Forest Ltd is a Finnish company manufacturing high-quality processors, harvesters, combi machines, energy wood machines and felling heads for demanding forest operations. The company says its years of experience in the forest machines market, combined with the high competence of its personnel, ensure the successful performance of AFM heads around the world. With a good reputation in the forest machines market, AFM-Forest says it offers its customers high quality and versatile logging solutions. AFM harvesting heads have been developed in strong co-operation with both customers and base machine manufacturers and are installed on excavators, wheeled and tracked harvesters, forwarders, trucks, agriculture and other machines.


Timbermax felling heads are professional tools designed and engineered to work in harsh environments. They can be used on a wide range of carriers from 15 to 30 tonnes. Timbermax offers two felling head sizes: the F65 weighing in at 1170 kg and the F70HD weighing in at 1450 kg, each with a cutting capacity of up to 28". The heads can work as a dedicated felling machine or they can be supplied with a quick connect attach, offering road builders an embedded solution. The saw is powered by a robust and powerful Hultdins SuperCUT 300 ¾” chain saw. The Rexroth hydraulic body valve is mounted in the head and the Rotobec continuous rotator offers endless rotation. Timbermax is a product designed and manufactured in Canada and offers local service and support.

Logging and Sawmilling Journal
June/July 2017

On the Cover:
The Seneca Sawmill Company has been part of the Eugene, Oregon landscape for more than 60 years. It’s now nearing the completion of a second $65 million upgrade which included upgrading the dimensional mill with new equipment and technology, installing additional dry kilns and upgrading its dimension mill planer (Photo by Diane Mettler).

More computers in the cutblock
For the forest industry, the cutblock is expected to be the focus of advanced systems and technology for equipment over the short term—but don’t expect to see any logging equipment without operators quite yet.

Tracked performance—without the tracks
Moore’s Logging of Alberta says its new TimberPro 840C combo machine—an eight-wheeled forestry machine which can function as a harvester, processor, forwarder or clam bunk skidder—is able to deliver track machine power, without the track machine issues.

Solving steep slope challenges—to a T
The T-Winch, a new to Canada, European-developed tethered skidder assist system, is solving multiple steep slope issues for Alberta logger Kelly McGlynn.

Seneca sees second mill upgrade
The Seneca Sawmill Company in Oregon is nearing the completion of a second $65 million upgrade which—on the heels of a similar size upgrade during the recession—means a total investment of $130 million, clearly reflecting the confidence the company’s owners have in the industry.

Bonus Christmas gift
The residents of Hornepayne, Ontario received a bonus Christmas gift late last year, with the shuttered sawmill/biomass power plant in the town coming back to life, thanks to industry veteran, Frank Dottori.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates, Alberta Agriculture, the Forest Products Association of Canada and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
It’s time for Canada to get our economic mojo back—with a new softwood lumber deal, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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